The protection racket

We are into 2 weeks into our current job of painting the ceiling above a swimming pool. The first few days involved Graham and I installing and building the bridge, and carrying out what we call “the protection racket”, which is covering and protecting everything that is likely to get splashed with dirty brown liquid when we wash and clean the ceiling of 40 years of blackened mould and  dirt, and then sand the entire surface to key it ready to paint the primer. This is an area of 185m sq.


Graham constructed 2 tracks alongside the pool, to guide the fixed wheels, and stop the bridge falling in! ( I shudder when I think of it)


Whilst Graham placed and screwed the flooring on the bridge platform I was free to mask and stick yards of polythene to the big windows. Now, every site I’ve worked on there is an ethic of greeting your fellow workers and shaking hands to say hello, whilst I love the French politeness and way of acknowledging everyone,  it can be rather inconvenient when you are in the middle of fighting with large volumes of polythene, and a stubborn length of masking tape which insists on curling round and sticking to itself and everything other than where it’s intended!





Having come across a cartoon that Michelangelo did of himself painting the Sistine Chapel, I thought ( not to be outdone by him) I would sketch a couple myself, see above. Sadly I think mine lack his flare!

Michelangelo’s sketch is to be seen here illustrating a poem he wrote, together with a  translation and more info on the Sistine Chapel:


Meanwhile, I’m still trying to keep my hand in with painting, here are a couple of colour sketches I did this week, re-inspired by the Upton House interiors which I visited a couple of years ago. I’ve also been working from the sketches I did last year when exhibiting at Monbazillac, but it went disastrously wrong, so I won’t show that, not right now anyway, not til I’ve figured out the problem!  So often I can work for hours on end, only to find an idea won’t work, or what’s in my head refuses to slide down my arm and onto the canvas, then I wonder why I even expected it to work in the first place. Artists, along with writers, scientists, engineers, inventors and many others I’m sure, have to be terriers in order to keep going after falling at the first hurdle, it can be extremely exhausting to spend a day on something you end up throwing in the bin. (Although I rather hope surgeons don’t come under that category, I expect them to get it right first time!)



IMG_2284 - Version 2





9 thoughts on “The protection racket

  1. Courage Liz… Et surtout bravo à deux pour ce grand chantier.. i do appreciate the sketches of yourself on the ladder …
    I can ‘t wait to read your next post … Iove it …. Bises nicole

  2. Ha ha! Like the cartoons. What a super blog Liz and such inspirational and varied artwork.
    Clever gantry there, I hope the mural goes well and you don’t fall in the pool.
    Best wishes to you both 🙂

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